A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of the uterus. During the procedure, the ovaries and fallopian tubes may be removed as well. It’s a relatively common procedure among American women, especially those between 40 and 50 years old. It’s considered the best treatment for chronic pain or ailment, but it’s also associated with weight loss. While there is a link between a hysterectomy and weight loss, drastic weight loss after a hysterectomy may bring some unpleasant side effects and should call for medical intervention.
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What Causes Belly Fat after Hysterectomy?
Although some women often experience weight loss after a hysterectomy, the operation itself does not cause weight loss. It may be because removing the uterus and the subsequent pain result in lowered appetite, which by extension triggers weight loss. Shedding off some weight after a hysterectomy is fairly common, but if you experience rapid weight loss after a hysterectomy, you should speak with your doctor.
Some women, however, experience weight gain and accumulation of belly fat after a hysterectomy. Research does suggest a link between hysterectomy and a higher risk of weight gain.
Several factors may affect how much belly fat you gain after a hysterectomy. They include:
1: Your Weight Before the Surgery
Some studies suggest that if you were overweight before the procedure, you have a higher risk of gaining some weight after a hysterectomy. Being overweight increases your risk of developing health conditions that might call for a hysterectomy. Having fibroids is actually the most common reason for a hysterectomy.
2: The Type of Hysterectomy
There’s more than one type of hysterectomy. Certain types affect weight gain more than others. For example, if the procedure included the removal of your ovaries, you will immediately enter menopause, triggering sudden hormone changes that can lead to an increase in belly fat and total body fat.
3: How Quickly You Recover
It takes quite some time to recover from a hysterectomy, and many factors can affect how quickly you recover. It typically takes 4 to 6 weeks before you get your activity level back to normal. Being docile for such a long period of time can result in additional weight gain.
Also, some types of hysterectomy, such as an abdominal hysterectomy that involve an incision in the stomach, will take much longer to heal. Women who get this type of surgery tend to gain more belly fat and overall body weight afterward than those who undergo other types of hysterectomy.
On the flip side, a minimally invasive hysterectomy has a shorter recovery time and less pain as compared to abdominal (open) surgery. You will get back to your normal activity level sooner and minimize the risk of weight gain.
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How Long Does It Take for Your Stomach to Shrink after a Hysterectomy?
It usually takes time to get back to your usual shape after an abdominal hysterectomy. In general, it takes about six weeks for most women to have their stomachs shrink back to normal.
As you heal and recover after hysterectomy:
- Get a lot of rest
- Remain active after the surgery, but keep off strenuous physical activities for the first six weeks.
- Avoid lifting heavy objects for about six weeks after the operation.
- Wait for about six weeks to resume sexual activity.
- Seek your doctor’s recommendations before resuming your other normal activities.
How Can I Boost My Metabolism after a Hysterectomy?
Metabolism encompasses all the chemical reactions in your body that keep you alive and functioning. Your body’s metabolic rate is simply the number of calories you burn. The higher your metabolism is, the more calories you can burn, and the easier it is to maintain a healthy weight. Having a high metabolic rate can also give you high energy and make you feel better.
Here are some easy ways to increase your metabolism after hysterectomy:
- Eat Plenty of Protein at Every Meal
- Do a High-Intensity Workout (But only under your doctor’s guidance)
- Drink Green Tea or Oolong Tea
- Get a Good Night’s Sleep
- Drink More Cold Water
- Stand up More
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